In terms in remaining in close contact with family, the good news is that half the CAFE group meet up with them weekly or daily and 80% of them at least speak to them weekly or daily. This is a very positive result for half the group.
The not so good news is that the other half of the group only meet up with close relatives monthly or less – possibly because their children have moved away. Furthermore 20% of this latter group only speak to their relatives monthly or less.
Footnote:- Although currently only 40% of the group use Skype, making this available to the whole of this group would enable them to maintain more regular visual contact with relatives as well as friends.
In the CAFE group in terms of other links 64% of them had three or more close friends. Leaving 36% two or less close friends. In a less active and less mobile group, you might expect these numbers to be reversed.
About two thirds of the group said they made friends easily whereas the remaining third said that they didn’t.
Footnote:- The survey group meetings themselves generated a lot of discussion and interaction between people and there’s no doubt that friendships could easily be made in CAFE groups but there has to be a trigger to get the discussion started. It’s not difficult to see that after this new relationships could easily develop.